Stowers, Gorski, Nootbaar tally trifecta of trifectas
With hockey playoffs in full swing, it's only appropriate baseball put together its own version of a hat trick. Or more appropriately, a hat trick of a hat trick. Kyle Stowers, Matt Gorski and Lars Nootbaar all homered three times Sunday, turning their respective contests into their own personal home
With hockey playoffs in full swing, it's only appropriate baseball put together its own version of a hat trick. Or more appropriately, a hat trick of a hat trick.
Stowers, the No. 8 Orioles prospect, was one spark among many for Triple-A Norfolk, which rolled past Charlotte, 14-3. Stowers kicked off his homer barrage with a solo shot to right field leading off the fifth. The 24-year-old did the same thing, only to center, as the leadoff hitter in the sixth and added a two-run shot to center in the seventh.
Three consecutive innings, three consecutive at-bats and three home runs.
It was the third multihomer game of Stowers' career and his first with three. The 2019 Draft pick out of Stanford collected a career-high five RBIs as he continues to rebound from an uneven start. Stowers has hit safely in eight consecutive games and nine out of 10 overall to improve his slash line to .258/.361/.565 with 20 extra-base hits, nine homers and 23 RBIs in 34 games. Six of his nine roundtrippers have come this month.
The walk-off home run from @matthew_gorski7 after already hitting 2 earlier. Oh yeah, it was the first pitch he saw! pic.twitter.com/7vQ9USn2Sg— Greensboro Grasshoppers (@GSOHoppers) May 22, 2022
While Stowers was enjoying a resurgence, Gorski continued his torrid May. The Pirates prospect entered the day with 14 homers, including nine through his first 17 games this month. It was his last, however, that mattered the most for High-A Greensboro.
Tied, 3-3, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Gorski connected on his third tater of the game to left-center to send his club past visiting Bowling Green, 4-3. The 24-year-old drove in all of the Grasshoppers' runs after slugging a two-run blast to left in the first and a game-tying solo shot to left in the fourth. Gorski's four RBIs matched a season high and gave him 37 on the year to go along with a .294 average and a .1.131 OPS.
Pittsburgh's second-round pick in 2019 has already matched the 17 homers he belted last year for Greensboro, moving into a tie for the Minor League lead with Cardinals prospect Moisés Gómez of Double-A Springfield.
Gómez was kept in the yard Sunday, but fellow Cardinal Nootbaar enjoyed a career game at the dish. Playing in just his 11th game since returning from the Majors, Nootbaar drove in seven runs to drive Triple-A Memphis past Gwinnett, 10-4. The 24-year-kicked off the scoring with a solo shot to right in the first, added a two-run jack to center in his next at-bat in the third and completed his first homer trifecta with a grand slam to center in the fourth.
It was the third multihomer game of Nootbaar's career and his seven RBIs equaled a career high established in his first pro season in 2018. Despite struggling in his Major League stint to begin 2022, Nootbaar improved his slash line to .275/.400/.650 with seven extra-base hits, four homers and 11 RBIs in 40 at-bats.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.